The Cheetahs claimed their third consecutive victory over the Waratahs, their second in Sydney, with a 27-26 win on Friday.
The Cheetahs claimed their third consecutive victory over the Waratahs, their second in Sydney, with a 27-26 win at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
20-year-old wing Raymond Rhule crossed twice as the Cheetahs bagged their second victory on the road this season after last week's success over the Highlanders.
The visitors outscored the Tahs three tries to two with Rhule's second touchdown in the 69th minute proving be to the decisive blow while ex-Waratahs scrum-half Sarel Pretorius also stood out.
The Waratahs led 20-17 at half-time but the men from Free State battled valiantly through a second-half onslaught from the hosts to claim the spoils.
The Cheetahs had asserted their intentions right from the kick-off when Willie le Roux chipped over the Waratahs backline, before an offload to Robert Ebersohn on the wing gave the Cheetahs a try, merely 40-seconds into the match.
Fly-half Johan Goosen and Pretorius continued to torment the Waratahs with creative attack early on in the first-half, starving the home side of any continuous possession, and in the 17th minute, a brilliant left-spread by the Cheetahs culminated in Rhule scoring the Cheetahs' second try, to lead 14-6.
The Cheetahs maintained a 70 percent dominance in possession, for most of the first-half, before momentum started to swing the Waratahs' way.
A long throw in the line-out found Peter Betham, who caught the Cheetahs defence unaware, and the wing charged through for the home side's first try.
Towards the latter part of the first-half, the Tahs started to dominate possession and attack, forcing the Cheetahs to desperately repel the blue onslaught, but after waves of attack, Adam Ashley-Cooper stretched over for a five-pointer, snatching a three-point lead going into the break.
The second-half started more ominously for the Waratahs, as they started to build a lion's share of possession, attacking more freely and testing the Cheetahs defence. With the Cheetahs starved of possession, the visitors were relegated to a more defensive scavenging game, as the Tahs had a 63 percent of the ball, and almost double the amount of metres in possession.
The Cheetahs however remained defiant and took their opportunities to spoil the Waratahs attack, sniffing for any opportunities that might come their way, and a brilliant 50-metre try, courtesy of another Le Roux chip, a Pretorius dance and offload led to Rhule scoring his second try, the Cheetahs' third to take a 27-23 lead, with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
The Waratahs clawed their way back after a Heinrich Brussow offside infringement, with a penalty goal from McKibbin putting them within a point of the visitors.
The Cheetahs had an opportunity to score a try in the final five minutes, but while they failed to capitalise, they managed to hold the Waratahs from scoring, and the game was all over when the ref awarded the Cheetahs a scrum after the siren.
For the Waratahs, their season is in tatters, having to regroup and face a more clinical Blues next weekend in Sydney, with the Cheetahs flying to Perth for their final leg of the Australasian tour.
Tries: Betham, Ashley-Cooper
Cons: McKibbin 2
Pens: McKibbin 4
Tries: Ebersohn, Rhule 2
Cons: Goosen 3
Pens: Goosen 2
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 1 Benn Robinson, 2 John Ulugia, 3 Paddy Ryan, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 5 Kane Douglas, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Pat McCutcheon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Rob Horne.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Landman Ligtoring, 19 Heinrich Brussow, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin.
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)